Lots of students today, after finishing their high school, are looking to get into the top US universities to gain exposure and academic excellence. One way of getting there is to take up the ACT (American College Testing) test, which basically is a standardized entrance examination set up by various colleges and US universities as their admission process. The test consists of four core sections (all of which offer multiple-choice questions) namely:

  • English
  • Math
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Writing (optional)

This test seeks to test a student’s skills in these areas and mark them on the same, accordingly, after which the students are required to showcase these scores to their aimed universities, in order to enrol themselves in. However, some new features have recently been introduced in the structure of the test, with an intention to “provide more choices, improve the testing experience, and provide a better opportunity to showcase their readiness and reach their maximum potential,” according to Suzana Delanghe, ACT chief commercial officer. 

This article will talk about the new features introduced into the structure of the ACT test and the evaluation process.

The main advancements are the following three:         

  1. Section retesting
  2. Super scoring
  3. Faster results (Online testing)

1. Section Retesting

This enhancement is aimed at easing the monotonous and laborious process of retaking the entire ACT test when a student fails to acquire a perfect test score, owing to fewer marks obtained in any of the subject sections. Using this new feature, students can now apply for tests that will comprise the questions on the particular subject that they want to give a retest for. This will give students a chance to focus solely on the individual subjects that they lacked proficiency in, without having to study collectively for all the subjects again. 

The entire structure remains the same in terms of the number of questions for that particular section, the time allotted to complete the test and the syllabus covered. The only thing that changes is that the other subject sections will not be given by the students, as per their choice. A student can take or retake this specific subject section test, at the same time when the ACT tests are conducted.

2. Super Scoring

Keeping in mind the increasing number of students attempting to take the ACT test multiple times, this new feature of super score is going to allow students to benefit from these multiple retests by letting them calculate their highest and the best subject score among all the retests taken, which will be called the super score, and can be given to the intended colleges and universities for admission process. This new amendment was brought about after rigorous research and experimentation to analyse if it will provide high-yielding results and prove to be advantageous, compared to the older method of evaluation of ACT scores. 

A comparative study was done to evaluate if the current system of sending ACT scores would be of more assistance in predicting a student’s performance in college, or the system of super scoring, and the results confirmed the fruitfulness of the latter. This new feature allows a student to select their best subject scores and send that to colleges, along with the composite score. Many colleges have begun including this system of super scoring as their college admission process.

3. Faster Results 

Replacing the paper and pen method of assessment applications, this new feature came in keeping in mind the students’ wishes and preferences in terms of the mode of giving the ACT test; online or offline. A lot of students prefer giving an online test, rather than on paper claiming that it helps them shift their focus to things that are paramount and dismissing their attention from other factors that barge in if, the mode of writing the test is offline. 

Keeping these grievances and concerns in mind, this new feature which gives prominence to flexibility in the entire process was brought in to allow the students to write the ACT test online, along with giving them the choice to write it offline (on paper) as well. 

Another major advantage of this enhancement is that it yields quicker test results as compared to offline mode, which helps the students in keeping more abreast of the facts leading them to choose what’s best for them early on, with regards to choosing appropriate colleges and scholarship matters.

Maximizing student success being the primary goal of these enhancements, these new features introduced in the ACT test structure will begin to function by the month of September 2020. As we move towards an advanced age, where everything is becoming more and more convenient and handy, the ACT board analysed the outdated formula of evaluating the test scores and the problems faced on ground by students while writing the test, and came up with these amendments that seek to benefit students in their academic field of life, thereby leading them closer to their success path. 

These features will better reflect individual capability and will instil greater confidence in students, leading them towards academic excellence and ultimate success in their lives.